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Why Your In-Store Web, Mobile, and Video Experiences Matter

The lines between offline and online experiences are blurring. Customers no longer go online, they are online 24/7, and that includes inside your stores. In fact according to recent Google research, 89% of smartphone users leverage their smartphones while shopping in stores. And close to 70% of those used it to look at the retailer’s site and 21% look at apps.

Furthermore, according to Laura Wade-Gery, executive director of Multi-channel eCommerce for Marks & Spencer, “Shoppers who shop on our website as well as in our stores spend four times as much; throw smartphones into the mix and they spend eight times as much.” Enabling web, mobile, and video experiences in the store represents a huge opportunity – whether it is interactive, connected digital signage; Wi-Fi; employee-focused endless aisle apps; and so on.

Yet the majority of our customers face the reality that digital innovation is overwhelming their enterprise network. Everything from web apps, HD video, software updates, mobile apps, and even digital signage are traversing the network eating up valuable bandwidth. In addition, most retailers subscribe to doing more with less – particularly when it comes to IT – so upgrading enterprise network bandwidth across every store every few years is often just not viable, both from a budget and agility perspective. That is not to mention that a lot of Cisco customers can’t upgrade their bandwidth due to store location even if they wanted to.

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But bandwidth constrained enterprise networks are only one side of the story. Latency is the other, whether caused by distance or amplified by enterprise network architectures such as backhauling Internet traffic over the WAN through the datacenter and out to the Internet. Currently, the vast majority of retailers use this network topology for store Internet access.

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And as we all know, high latency is particularly detrimental to web application performance.

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Just look at the difference in latency and bandwidth between in-store and residential Wi-Fi. In fact, latency for in-store Wi-Fi is higher than latency for LTE.

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The bottom line is that congested, high-latency, low bandwidth enterprise networks result in slow HTTP applications, video, and software updates.

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And we all know that video or apps that are slow or not working properly are bad for business. There has been plenty of research highlighting the fact that as web apps get slower, conversion rates decrease, abandonment rates increase, and employee productivity plummets.

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In other words, slow apps – whether inside or outside the store – equals unhappy customers and unproductive employees. The answer to this problem? Retailers need to focus on accelerating HTTP/S applications, video and software updates while maximizing enterprise network bandwidth to ensure fast, high-quality experiences to all of your end users.

To learn more, be sure to register to join us on June 16 for a free one-hour webcast.

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Why Videography is Important to Cisco IT

I am a videographer in Cisco IT. Often when I introduce myself, people are either intrigued or utterly confused. Cisco is full of software and hardware engineers, IT architects, IP telephony wizards, and sales account managers galore. Where does videography fit in? Read More »

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Making the Branch Core to Omnichannel, and a Hub for Financial Expertise

I recently returned from a Financial Services Summit event in China, where I discussed trends in an omnichannel delivery strategy with an audience from 30 banks. A central part of my discussion was the notion that things are not changing, they’ve already changed. Consumers across the globe have a heavy appetite for digital services.

Digital consumers across all age groups are adopting new digital behaviors at a faster pace. For example, it took one European bank 10 years to have 20 million hits per month on their website, but when they introduced their new mobile banking app, it only took 1.5 years to reach 20 million hits per month.

In a recent Internet of Everything (IoE) in Financial Services consumer study conducted by Cisco across 12 countries, we saw that in China, there is a high interest for alternative banking solutions. However, this same group of respondents (72 percent) put the branch as their first preference for opening up an account. We saw similarly high scores across Brazil, India, Russia and Mexico. The U.S. consumers came in at 60 percent.

So, what does this tell us? For one, it tells us that we need to not only evolve our mobile strategy but also see the branch as a valuable asset that is complementary to mobile and still core to any omnichannel banking delivery model.

Yes, the branch still matters. From opening up an account, to applying for a car loan or even a mortgage, there is an educational and personal interaction component to that journey. Consumers often feel that they are not fully equipped to make decisions about financial products and services alone and often seek advice and guidance from a trusted banking specialist. Read More »

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Rewarding Partner Summit 2015 Delivers New Collaboration Offers and More

Every year an incredible amount of preparation goes into my presentation and one-on-ones for Partner Summit. We had 11 or so Spark rooms of various teams coming together to make decisions about demos, graphic design, scripting, statistics, offers, and so on. Lots of hard work (made easier with Spark), but all that effort culminates in a few days that are both rewarding and inspiring. First, we got to hang out with more than 2200 of you in the lovely city of Montreal (while 6000 others tuned in virtually) and hear some great talks from our top leaders.

The second reward I got from all the weeks leading up to Summit where my team was heads down doing research and crunching numbers was gaining a buttoned-up set of facts that support the message I wanted you to walk away with – that disruption creates an opportunity to thrive. The partner trends we uncovered are compelling.

I want to make sure you have those facts and figures at your fingertips. We’ve created a Cisco Worldwide Partner Summit 2015 Collaboration Offers and Announcements page where you can find all the details on our new partner announcements and offers as well as the presentations. I think you’ll find the offers very rewarding, and if you didn’t get a chance to hear Rowan announce them on main stage and in the breakout session, you can find the recordings on the Cisco Virtual Partner Summit site.

Let’s also do a quick recap here of the three big areas you can focus on to seize that window of opportunity we talked about: Read More »

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See Cisco Care-at-a-Distance Solutions at ATA 2015

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Annual Meeting and Tradeshow is fast approaching!  If you’re planning to attend ATA from May 3-5 in Los Angeles, be sure to visit the Cisco booth to see products and solutions that connect patients and care teams so they can easily engage anytime from anywhere.

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You’ll find us in booth #1301, where we’ll showcase innovations that overcome the barrier of distance while improving the patient experience. Highlights include:

      • Extended Care:  Browser-based health and wellness collaboration solution platform
      • Telepresence Showcase:  DX Series (Android-based touchscreens), SX Series, and Jabber endpoints designed for maximum collaboration
      • Cisco Virtual Patient Observation: A centralized approach to patient sitting that can help improve efficiency, staff satisfaction, and staff safety
      • Avizia:  Mobile telehealth cart that connects physicians, specialists and patients at the point of care
      • And more!

Gift cardWhile you’re in our booth, let us scan your name badge so you’ll be entered for a chance to win a $250 American Express gift card!

In the meantime, learn more about Cisco Care-at-a-Distance solutions for telehealth. Also take a second to download, Cisco Telehealth Report: Connecting Brazil’s Children to a Healthier Future.

See you in Los Angeles!

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